The sense that, to quote Robert Carlyle’s character in Formula 51/51st State, the United States is “Albania in neon” has been compounded this week by the fact that Atlanta has run out of gas. Every gas station I’ve passed has those little covers over the pumps, thanks to hurricanes Gustav and Ike (we get our fuel from the Gulf of Mexico in these here parts), together with generally poor refining capacity. It’s the 1970s all over again! But hopefully not the 1930s. Rosh Hashanah is nearly here, and I don’t think I can deal with the brownshirts.
Although a lot of people have been terribly inconvenienced, I’m horribly smug about how little this affects me. Today I did 16.62 miles of errand cycling (yes, I am obsessed with quantification), between lunch at Chic-Fil-A (they’re Christian fundamentalists, but oh so tasty), work in a coffee shop and a ride to the pub. And not a gallon of gasoline used. The perfect storm of self-satisfaction.
Technically speaking, we just need gas in order to do our weekly grocery run. If we broke it up into a few trips we could do it by bike right now. Or we could get an S.U.B. That is to say, a Sports Utility Bike or Xtracycle. In fact, what with the impending apocalypse and all, we’ve basically decided that this is where our next tax refund is going. Look, they’re gorgeous:
You can buy one outright, or get a kit to convert an existing bike. As LMS has a Raleigh in the garage that we use only for guests, we’re going to go the latter route. Which should mean that we can leave the car at home when buying food. Just the thing for the Mad Max future that most Atlantans are one empty gas tank away from ushering in.